A variety of cultural processes have resulted in remarkable preservation of evidence from throughout Kirikongo's sequence. In particular, the practice of continual habitation of social groups in a specific locale, a social anchoring, contributed to formation of discrete deep mound deposits that stratify earlier habitation, and consequently protect these from erosion. But perhaps of greater significance to preservation are architectural techniques. The inhabitants of Kirikongo constructed highly durable pavements that effectively sealed strata and allowed little bioturbation. In addition, they tended to level an area ca. 20–40 cm above previous floors and leave in situ any objects not affecting the new floor surface. Thus, architectural remains (wall-stubs and floors) are visible in all mounds at various points in time. Most artifacts derive from highly specific provenience, aiding in the reconstruction of social processes.
In general, the mounds at Kirikongo were created by a diverse array of cultural processes that resulted in complex stratigraphies. There is no evidence at the site for periods of abandonment, as the stratigraphies of each mound indicate a continuous sequence of occupation. Below I describe the sequence for four excavation units (the fifth, Unit D, postdates the period under study). Units were excavated using a recording system designating individual ‘stratigraphic levels’ for each different deposit encountered (the excavation methodology is presented in detail in Chapter 4). In this chapter, based upon my analyses of the relationships between these stratigraphic levels, I combine them into culturally relevant depositional episodes, each marking an archaeologically visible ‘action’ in the past of varying temporal duration. These divisions are analytical tools; depositional episodes ranged from those produced during a single finite action, while others were processes that lasted over several phases of occupation.
To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.
To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.
To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.